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Salon/Spa Owner’s Guide to Getting the NOT FUN Stuff Done


Wouldn’t it be awesome if every aspect of salon/spa ownership was outrageously fun to do?

The truth is, the duties and responsibilities of being an owner are not all fun and games. Some can be downright stressful and do severe damage to the business.

FACT: As an owner, you have your own unique strengths and weaknesses. It’s how you leverage your strengths and overcome your weaknesses, that determines your success as an owner and leader.

The problem with the “not fun” stuff is what happens when these duties, accountabilities, and responsibilities are avoided, ignored, or procrastinated on.

Just like your body sends you signals that it’s not feeling well or in distress, so does your business. Systems will start to misfire. Cash flow will get ugly. Drama and toxicity will infect your culture.

In almost every case, when a business isn’t feeling well, it can be traced back to an owner/leader that didn’t do the “not fun” stuff — or tried … but didn’t execute thoroughly.

Here’s our guide to help you successfully navigate the “not fun” stuff:

  • Success and the “not fun” stuff are inseparable: Success demands hard work and sacrifice. Success is a quest to achieve your full potential. KEY: You can’t succeed if you’re not willing to go all in and embrace the “not fun” stuff.

  • Avoiding or procrastinating is a failed strategy: As the owner/leader, you cannot bury your head in the sand or pretend a problem doesn’t exist. Why? Because problems don’t fix themselves. They fester and grow into big ugly problems. KEY: If you identify a problem, fix it — and fix it thoroughly. Get it over with. Set a deadline and never kick that can down the road.

  • Understand your owner/leader non-negotiables: You are responsible for the financial health of your company. You are responsible for the culture of your company. You are responsible for the operational consistency of your company. You are responsible for driving your company’s critical numbers. You are responsible for your company’s brand identity. You are responsible for employee retention. KEY: These are the primary non-negotiables you sign on for as an owner/leader. Own them. Be passionate about them.

  • Play to your strengths — delegate smartly: You have your own unique strengths and weaknesses. Strengths lift you up. Weaknesses sap energy. KEY: Great leaders play to their strengths. They never pretend to be an expert on something they’re not. Delegating means more than sharing the load. Delegating is the strategic way to assign tasks and responsibilities to those with the strengths to carry them out.

  • Delegate with clearly defined expectations: Delegation backfires when leaders don’t thoroughly clarify the responsibilities and expectations. KEY: “Assuming” that stuff will get done the right way and on time can be a brutal leadership lesson. Delegating doesn’t mean it’s off your plate. It means it’s your responsibility to check-in and coach — especially when those you delegate to get stuck. Remember, your job is to coach … never touch or take over the delegated task or responsibility.

  • If it’s important, it belongs on your calendar: To get the “not fun” stuff done, your calendar becomes your boss and taskmaster. KEY: Your calendar controls your time. Your calendar tells you when you need to complete a task … even the “not fun” tasks. Your calendar must include all critical due dates — with reminders set to keep you, and those you delegate to, on task and on time.

  • Your primary responsibility is to build value: Yes, work can and should be fulfilling, and at times, even fun. But when you own a business, your goal is to create value for your company. KEY: Owning a salon/spa should never be about creating a job for yourself. It’s about turning your vision and your company into something of value. Something you can sell when it’s time to move on. Too many salon/spa owners get stuck in the “build it and it will be worth something” mentality. The reality is that many salons/spas, even busy ones, aren’t worth much when it’s time to sell. That’s why doing the “not fun” stuff is so critical.

Here’s my challenge to you: If you don’t know how much your company has in cash reserves, you’ve got work to do.

If you haven’t reviewed a current Profit & Loss Statement and Balance Sheet at least once in the last 30 days, you’ve got work to do.

If you can’t rattle off your payroll percentage, net profit, productivity rate, client retention rate, and more, you’ve got work to do.

If you haven’t done at least one performance review with every employee in the last four to six months, you’ve got work to do.

If your company’s culture is more “I/me/mine” than team-based, you’ve got work to do.

If you have a toxic employee on payroll, you’ve got work to do.

Do the work.


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